Mali to Vote in Legislative Elections Postponed After Coup

Mali will hold the first round of legislative elections that were postponed after a 2012 coup this weekend as President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita seeks to solidify control of the West African nation.

Malians will vote to choose 147 lawmakers on Nov. 24, three months after Keita won a run-off presidential election. The run off will be Dec. 15 if necessary. More than 100 observers are monitoring the vote that was originally scheduled for July 2012 in the West African country. There are 1,141 candidates from 76 political parties. The results will be announced before Nov. 29.

Keita has pledged to wrest back control of the north of the nation where troops and French military forces are battling Islamist militants in Africa’s third-largest gold producer. The economy will expand 6.3 percent next year as donors resume aid that was halted after the coup by soldiers who wanted more resources to fight the Islamists.

French President Francois Hollande sent troops to Mali in January to help the government wrest control of the north from forces allied with al-Qaeda. Hollande has promised to keep troops in the former colony as long as necessary.

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